What Does Love Do To Your Brain?

Falling in love isn't as abstract a concept as you might think. Romance corresponds to a specific mix of chemicals in your brain and body, among them dopamine, adrenaline, and norepinephrine. Love also seems to lower serotonin levels, a symptom that's common in people with OCD, and which may explain why the early stages of love are so obsessive. This chemical cocktail gives way to another one as a relationship moves from its initial, lovestruck phase into one of deeper understanding. At this point, the hormones oxytocin and vasopressin take over, prompting feelings of safety and affection.

Your Brain in Love and Lust

Key Facts In This Video

  1. People decide their initial physical attraction to someone in as little as 200 milliseconds. 00:23

  2. As you get to know someone and fall in love, the concoction of hormones in your brain changes and elicits different feelings and responses. 02:23

  3. The scientific term for a break up is "frustration attraction." 03:11

The Science of Love

Key Facts In This Video

  1. Love is intertwined with the evolutionary survival of the human race. 00:19

  2. The brain of someone in love looks similar to the brain of someone on cocaine. 00:44

  3. There is a surge of dopamine and norepinephrine during orgasm and when we look at pictures of those we love. 01:21

Can You Die of a Broken Heart?

Key Facts In This Video

  1. The brain activity and surge of dopamine you experience when in love are similar to the ones you experience when hooked on nicotine or cocaine. 01:05

  2. The brain reacts to rejection and heartbreak in some of the same ways as it does to physical pain. 02:26

  3. Your chances of having a heart attack increase by 6 times during the first week of bereavement. 03:54

Written by Curiosity Staff December 31, 2014

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